FIFA 'The Best' award winner appears to have been leaked ahead of Monday's ceremony
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The winner for the Best FIFA Men's player award appears to have been leaked ahead of the official ceremony.
The latest gala for the FIFA's The Best awards ceremony, in its seventh year, takes place in Paris and sees big names like Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema, Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski and Kevin De Bruyne in the mix for the main prize.
But it seems as though the winner for the 2022 edition has already been decided, with journalist Francesc Aguilar reporting that Messi will collect the gong.
He claims that Messi's win will send a message to France Football and L'Equipe after the Argentine sensation wasn't even nominated for the Ballon d'Or won for the first time by Karim Benzema.
He wrote: "Lionel Messi is The Best. On Monday, FIFA will remind L'Equipe and France Football that they did not include Leo among the candidates for the Ballon d'Or. To make matters worse, FIFA will hold The Best gala in...Paris!"
Lionel Messi es The Best. El lunes, la FIFA se lo recordará a L'Equipe y France Football que no incluyeron a Leo entre los candidatos al Balón de Oro— Francesc Aguilar (@FApor_elmundo) February 25, 2023
If his information is correct, Messi will win the Men's Best Player prize for just the second time, having previously collected it back in 2019.
He led Argentina to their first World Cup since 1986 after a stunning campaign on the big stage saw him complete football.
The 35-year-old scored seven times, including two in the final against France.
And for Paris Saint-Germain, Messi has performed superbly after a difficult first campaign, scoring 16 times and assisting 14 in 27 appearances in all competitions.
The FIFA event is set to start at 8pm UK time and will be broadcasted live on the official FIFA YouTube channel.
Here are the nominees for the Best FIFA Men's Player award:
Julian Alvarez (Argentina / River Plate / Manchester City FC)
Jude Bellingham (England / BV Borussia 09 Dortmund)
Karim Benzema (France / Real Madrid CF)
Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium / Manchester City FC)
Erling Haaland (Norway / BV Borussia 09 Dortmund / Manchester City FC)
Achraf Hakimi (Morocco / Paris Saint-Germain)
Robert Lewandowski (Poland / FC Bayern Munich/ FC Barcelona)
Sadio Mane (Senegal / Liverpool FC / FC Bayern Munich)
Kylian Mbappe (France / Paris Saint-Germain)
Lionel Messi (Argentina / Paris Saint-Germain)
Luka Modric (Croatia / Real Madrid CF)
Neymar (Brazil / Paris Saint-Germain)
Mohamed Salah (Egypt / Liverpool FC)
Vinicius Junior (Brazil / Real Madrid CF)